Prep Baseball Report

Rapid Reaction: VA/DC Freshman Free Showcase

John Nolan
Virginia Scouting Director & Managing Editor


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The Virginia/DC freshmen free showcase was held on Saturday, January 26 at the Virginia Sports Complex. Over 40 players from around the commonwealth were in attendance to perform in front of the PBR Scouting staff. Today we give you some players who stood out at the event. 


Noah Burtner 3B / RHP / Spotswood, VA / 2022

Burtner is a repeat participant at this event and showed a lot of growth from 2018 to 2019. His arm action has some quickness to it and his fastball velocity was up from touching 64 in 2018 to touching 75. He also showed a nice breaking ball with big shape and depth to the pitch. At the plate, he also showed more strength and violence in his swing, with power potential evident.

Jason Cheifetz RHP / OF / Westfield, VA / 2022

Cheifetz has an athletic frame and had a strong day all around at the Freshman Free Showcase but really had has best moments on the mound. He has a lot of projection left to his frame and his arm is free with some quickness. His fastball was 79-81, touching 82 and he showed good feel for his whole arsenal, including a pair of breaking balls with different shapes and a change-up.

Clark Driscoll SS / RHP / Clover Hill , VA / 2022

Driscoll had a strong two-way day as well. At the plate, he has a short swing that is quick to the ball with some violence in his hips and strength at contact. He showed speed as well, running a 4.17 home to first. He also showed arm strength at short and on the mound, getting up to 82 at both spots.

Payton Faulkner SS / OF / Prince George, VA / 2022

Faulkner is potentially the next outstanding middle infield prospect from Prince George. He has a frame with a ton of projection, he was smooth at short and has the potential to be a good athletic defender. He showed a lot of speed with a 4.00 home to first as well as arm strength at short. At the plate, he has a short swing with violent hips and strength at contact, he gets good extension through the ball and showed an exit velocity of 85.

Cole Macomson RHP / Monacan, VA / 2022

Macomson showed a lanky frame with projection at 6-2. He had one of the top fastballs at the event, sitting 79-82. the fastball had natural run and sinking action to the pitch while throwing with light effort on the mound. He also showed feel for his secondary pitches, with two breaking balls and a change up. Though his two breaking balls were similar in shape, he has the makings of a very nice slider with swing and miss potential. His change up showed good late fade on the pitch.

Christopher McCullers RHP / OF / Woodgrove, VA / 2023

McCullers has an imposing strong frame for an eighth grader and had the top exit velocity at the event at 88. He is very strong at contact, generating his power. He showed arm strength as well and was also 73-77 on the mound and 83 from the outfield.

Blake Pesante SS / RHP / St. Mary's Ryken, MD / 2022

Pesante also had a strong all around day. At the plate, he showed strength and and batspeed, with an exit velocity of 86. He also showed footspeed with a 4.00 drag bunt home to first and a strong arm with smooth actions across the infield. On the mound, he had the top fastball, working 79-83 with feel for his offspeed pitches.

Terrence Rhodes SS / Glen Allen, VA / 2023

Rhodes was the fastest player at the event, running a 3.95 drag bunt home to first. At short, he showed quick hands and a lot of athleticism to go with his smooth actions. At the plate, he has a short swing with hands that whip thorugh the zone. Look for him to add power as he gains strength. A very interesting prospect to follow with a lot of upside.

Benjamin P. Santiago SS / RHP / Douglas Freeman, VA / 2022

Santiago had one of the stronger two-way days at the event. On the mound, his fastball was 79-80 touching 81 with hard late cutting action. The pitch ran as a true cutter. He also showed feel for three other offspeed pitches. At the plate, Santiago is short to the ball with strength at contact and good extension through it, he has power already with potential for more, his exit velocity was 88.

Brayden Simpson SS / RHP / Cosby, VA / 2022

Simpson's frame has a ton of projection left to it and he had one of the best all-around days. His home to first on a drag bunt was 4.13 and his swing was very short to the ball with good strength at contact and extension through the ball. Exit velocity was already up to 86 with more in the tank. Smooth actions at short and was 72-76 on the mound.